TSS checked in with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, in England on business after jetting from Pakistan, where he is trying to bring professional boxing to their radar.
The executive was asked about the Danny Garcia situation, about the Philly hitter’s next fight, which has him, as of now, fighting not for one of his 140 pound crowns against Lamont Peterson, but instead at a catch weight (143 pounds or less.)
Being that I know Sulaiman has been wanting to get the sanctioning bodies on the same page more often, and encouraging unification matches, I wasn’t sure how and why the WBC would sign off on ‘BC champ Garcia fighting his April 11 bout without having their belt on the line, that being the second straight outing that would be the case. In his last glove-up, Garcia fought overwhelmed Rod Salka, on Sept. 9, 2014 also at a catchweight, at 142 pounds or less.
The boxer has admitted he’s having issues making 140 pounds, and the remedy seems, on surface, a no brainer. Move up to the next weight class, the welterweight class. But Garcia is resistant to that plan.
I asked Sulaiman his take on the deal. He told me that ideally, Garcia would be fighting Peterson at 140 pounds or less, and the belts held by both men, Garcia’s WBC and WBA versions, and the IBF one held by Peterson, would be on the line.
He said that his organization agreed to this current catchweight arrangement because the fighter “most likely to be harmed or affected” by the course of action, Viktor Postol, signaled that he was OK with it. Postol, he said, agreed to a “step aside” payment, a gesture of respect from Team Garcia for being so kind as to be patient, as he awaited a title shot, as the No. 1 ranked junior welter in the WBC.
Vadim Kornilov manages Postol. Kornilov told me that he’s OK with Postol having to play the waiting game. He didn’t wish to answer how much Postol is getting. “It’s private,” he answered good-naturedly. “We made the deal more than six months ago. It was in the press. I don’t understand why they did it either.”
Indeed; it doesn’t make sense to me for Garcia to hand over money to insure that 140 pound strap stays with him…when all indications are that he is too big for that weight class…I spoke to Team Peterson about the issue last week, and they too don’t see this catchweight bout as anything close to ideal.
Sulaiman told me he considered the possibility of stripping Garcia of the WBC belt, on the grounds that he last defended it March 2014 (against Mauricio Herrera) and he doesn’t seem suited for the weight class anymore, but he didn’t go that route, because, for one reason, the public seems to abhor and cry foul when the WBC strips a crown from a boxer.
I offered that in this case public opinion I think would back Sulaiman up.
I texted Danny’s dad Angel Garcia to see if he could help me better understand the thought processes here and will add his response should he check in.
Danny is advised by Al Haymon and Haymon doesn’t speak to media, so the onus is upon the boxer himself to weigh in, or not, on the matter.
Gilberto Mendoza Jr, vice president of the WBA, touched on this subject matter with BoxingScene: “(Team Garcia) still have not made a formal request for the fight but they will ask for special permission which could be approved, as long as the next defense of his title is at 140 pounds and against the highest rated available contender.”
Sulaiman told me that wording is in place to have Garcia fight Postol within 90 days of his April 11 bout. The winner of that clash will then have to fight Lucas Matthysse, deemed the No. 1 ranked at 140 by the WBC.
I told Sulaiman that I think a lot of people are working on re-branding boxing, to good effect, but stuff like this, which seems to benefit a narrow few, at the expense of the greater good, reduces the efficacy of that. He didn’t disagree…
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